The day began early at 4:30 AM, you see when this girl has a race, she has a hard time sleeping hehe
Now only I would pick a tough race to do as my first ultra marathon, maybe it was the title, maybe it was the thought of running along the ocean, not sure but when I saw Cape Cod Frozen Fatass it just sounded like a good idea at the time. And after all how hard could a 50K be ? I mean the thought of running 31 miles did not sound too bad once I had gotten over my fear of runs over 25 miles. But this proved to be a very tough race indeed!!
It was pretty mild weather wise here this week so that meant that the sand would not be frozen and packed. I think I started to panic about that around Thursday. And then again on Saturday morning as I drove out to the Cape where the race was set to start. I ended up being early since I thought it started at 7 but it was good to be there and relax a bit in the car.
The weather was about high 30s but windy on the beach and I suited up in mask, gloves, and hat wearing my under armor cold gear outfit. Then I waited patiently for the race to begin. The scenery was beautiful.
I admit I was intimidated by running on sand but honestly it was so beautiful running along the ocean and listening to the waves crash, I forgot about how tough it was at times. We got brief instructions and were sent on the way at 7:30! Right away I felt like I was going to be having a hard time.
I began running and actually it felt good. My feet found a way to strike the sand in a way that allowed me to hang onto a good pace. It was hard, sometimes the sand was a big firm and then other times it was rocky, or totally weak and hard to plow through. You would spend a few minutes finding a good spot on the beach to grip and run there.
The course was set up as 5 miles out on those 2 surfaces and then 10 miles out onto a different trail which was harder.Those first 5 miles were not bad at all I was going at a pretty good pace and according to garmin had 9:03, 9:19, 9:27, 8:29 & 8:55. Then we switched over to the next path and things got hairy. The terrain switched from rocky wetter sand to dunes and marshes...
At mile 15 is where the aid station and cars were so it was nice. You stopped and got drinks and fuel because you needed it! I was starving. Very different from pavement running my body was crying for some food more than gels. So I grabbed a Luna protein bar and some more nuun in my bottles. Mark fueled up too and we headed back out for our second round of torture. My 25k time was 2:27. I was pretty excited about that.
It was then that I began to realize how fun a trail race was. So laid back, everyone just hanging out fueling up and talking. It was so different from a road race, and I liked it a lot. Then it was time to get back onto it!
I had developed a strategy for the sand and my speed and timing. When running was easier and the ground firm I would accelerate and when it got rough I would back off. It seemed to be working well for me especially as I got to the second round on the 5 mile loop. It was then that I got ahead of Mark and did not see him again until the finish line when he came through. My miles from 16-21 were: 10:50, 9:32, 9:25, 9:06, 9:55 and I kept going a bit got lost a bit! I ended up missing the turn point from the 5 miles so I got an extra half a mile.
Then it was back to the torture side and last part of the race. Those final 11 miles sucked. By now my legs would cringe everytime the sand got tough and I began to wonder why in the hell anyone would do this to themselves. Mark had fallen behind me a bit and that stunk because now I was alone again and kept getting worried I would get lost... I have a terrible sense of direction and honestly it did not help me. At the turnaround point I forgot which way to go and had to wait for someone behind me to catch up so I could ask. This is what slowed me down a second time. So my last miles looked like this: 10:25, 11:32, 11:31, 11:10, 9:37, 12:11, 11:05, 16:01, 10:15, 10:30, 10:34, 5:44
Total of 31.56 miles in 5:20 average pace of 10:10. You can see where the 16:01 lol I was waiting and trying to figure out how to use the gps on my phone but obvioulsly failed haha
As I came into the finishing parking lot the woman timing us began yelling and cheering. I was the first female to finish!!!!!!! I blinked and processed what she said and began grinning :) that was a pretty good feeling. I was also happy to have my cheer leader there running on his long training run while I was out there battling the sand. Thanks for being so supportive :)
I got into the club house where everyone was gathering and got my prize :)
|I love love my new pet rock :) It is the coolest award yet hehe|
And here I am in all my ultra running glory :)
I celebrated that night with my baby girl of course :)